Investment vs. A Waste Of Money: Learning to Maximize your Finances in your Fitness Journey!
Investment vs. a Waste of Money: Learning to Maximize Your Finances In Your Fitness Journey
By Briana Elmore
We, often times, are faced with making a decision to either spend a lot of money on training or eating programs that are designed to help us reach our specific fitness goals. Sometimes it can feel as if you have no other option outside of spending an arm and a leg for your fitness goals. Although those programs are valuable and your goals important, you do not have to spend a lot of money to reach your desired level of fitness.
As you know, each available program is not necessarily the best fit for you. As you go through your health journey, it is important to be as honest as possible with yourself financially. Many of us would love to have the best trainers and the best foods catered to the body that we would like to achieve; however, as a Twenty Somethin who is trying to build a bawdy as well as my income, I have to be mindful of the way I spend my money. I have spent money on different training mechanisms and eating programs that have not given me the results that I was so eager to achieve upon making the purchase.
There were multiple factors that deserved my strong consideration before I made the decision to spend my money. I was more invested in the desire to lose weight and tone up than I was in my finances or actually completing the program successfully. I have found that I needed to get to a certain point of clarity before making the decision to physically and financially embark on a health journey.
I want to share some of the tips that I have learned in my experiences with fitness and finances so that you can be as informed and strategic in your goals.
3 things to assess before you start a fitness goal:
What are your fitness goals?
This step will help you target your focus on the programs designed to assist you in accomplishing your goals. You will have some direction as you plan out your approach to a healthier lifestyle. As you gain knowledge of the plan that you want to move forward in, you should then determine what is essential and nonessential in the journey. For example, some programs may have supplements and other additional items to add to the overall product. You should thoroughly assess if you need these items to get your goal or if you can do without them.
Are you pursuing this fitness journey for the right reasons?
This is an introspective step in your journey. You have to decide your level of commitment to the process. If you’re looking to get a few pounds off or make a complete lifestyle change, it is important to honest and clear with yourself from the beginning. I found that when I was aspiring fitness for the approval of others, I never had much success. When I started to accept myself as I was and wanted to add fitness into the gift of me, I started to see the progress I desired. I was more invested in the process and I was willing to make the needed changes and sacrifices to make my goals happen.
How independent can you stand to be in your fitness process?
If you know that you need additional or help to stay motivated to stay on track, it is important to know as you go into your healthy journey. Do you feel like you need someone to hold you accountable and guide you through your workouts (i.e. a trainer)? Do you feel that you are at a point where you can stay on track alone? Understanding the level of your dependence on others will serve you well as you map out your finances. Essentially, the more independent you can be with your workouts, the cheaper the process can be.
Based on your responses to the assessment questions, strongly consider the financial ability to accomplish those goals.
3 practical ways to utilize your finances to accomplish your fitness goals:
Budget for your fitness.
After you have done of your research on the best practices for your health aspirations, you should plan out your finances accordingly. This helps to solidify your commitment to the process of increasing your fitness. You are making an actual investment into your health. Budgeting allows me to make sure I still take care of my other financial obligations while taking this additional step for myself in my fitness.
Determine the distribution of your fitness investments.
There may be multiple areas to distribute your finances between trainers, gym memberships, groceries, and fitness programs. This step is the place where you rank the prioritization of both your financial and fitness commitment. Once you understand what things are essential to your success, you should allocate your resources towards those things. In my experience, I highly prioritize working with trainers to push me further in my process and give me accountability. I need that consistency to remain committed. However, I have a lower cost gym membership and have navigated cleaner eating habits with lower grocery costs. My prioritization of my fitness needs has assured me in planning and allocating my finances towards fitness.
Establish the areas where you can afford to lower your costs and the areas where you need to spend more.
As you grow in your progress, you will find that your needs will fluctuate. In times of change in your routine, it’s important to stay in tune with your finances. You will become more well-versed in your fitness and may no longer require the same things you once needed to be successful. For instance, you may have needed to have a trainer to get you acclimated with the gym or a certain type of fitness goal and after time you may not need to utilize that service as frequently.
I believe that there is always a way to accomplish a goal whether it’s a fitness goal or a lifestyle goal. Even if your aspiration seems out of you reach, there is always a plan of action that can be mapped out to get you to your desired place of accomplishment.